Yes that’s me in the photo. Dressed as Wonder Woman, assisting in a charity fundraiser for sick children. I’ve donned the Red, White and Blue for many charity events and hospital visits. Past tense.
Hospital visits- visiting children with various illnesses. Too many of them with cancer. Have I mentioned that cancer is a cruel beast?
It’s difficult seeing children with their bald little heads, ports, feeding tubes….but still they smile. The parents with lines etched in their faces, watching their children take in the toxins meant to save them, they too smile at their children and the group dressed as heroes who just want to bring smiles and maybe help them forget even for just a moment.
Thinking back now, I marveled at the strength and resilience of the child fighting to live. Back when chemo was just a word. Now I am in complete awe of those children. Knowing how chemo makes you feel. Knowing how frightening hospitals are as an adult, much less a child. All the equipment , lights, sounds and the sight of your loved ones gowned and masked up to see you. To hold you.
Last time I went to see my cardiologist, a mother and son stepped off the elevator at the same time as I did. I checked in for my appointment and watched as mom took her son across the way to check in for his appointment. Mom was rubbing his bald little head when he suddenly darted off. Spinning around, arms wide open. He laughed and said “look mommy!” Mom smiled a big smile…and when I caught her eye I smiled too. That little acknowledgement passed between us, yes it’s cancer. I said to her “look at that energy”, and she said “yes, for now”. Little man noticed us speaking and I saw him looking at my bald head. I smiled at him and he smiled back- with too much knowledge in those young eyes. As he was called back to be seen, he turned and waved at me. I waved back, holding back my tears. Tears for him willing him to win his fight. Tears for the unjust cruelty that pediatric cancer exists. Tears for the mother being strong for her child.
I remind myself when I’m feeling absolutely shattered and just sick of it all that if the children can do it, so can you.
As always, #FuckCancer